Tau Lewis – T.a.u.b.i.s, 2020Recycled fabrics, hand dyed fabrics, recycled leather, acrylic paint, hand sewnEdition of 30
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Tau Lewis – Opus (The Ovule), 2020Various recycled and hand dyed fabrics, recycled leather, acrylic paint, recycled polyester batting, jute, metal frame, PVA glue, secret objects, safety pins, metal hooks, wire
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Tau Lewis – Delight, 2020Various recycled and hand dyed fabrics, recycled leather, cotton and recycled polyester batting, acrylic paint, PVA glue, seashells, stones, beads, pipe, wooden chair, hand sewn
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COOPER COLE is pleased to present Triumphant Alliance of the Ubiquitous Blossoms of Incarnate Souls, Tau Lewis’ first solo exhibition at the gallery.
For this presentation, Lewis has created the realm of the T.A.U.B.I.S. (pronounced /taʊ /beez) to explore desires for abundance, safety, deep roots, and justice. Since last year, the artist has been hand dyeing reclaimed household materials such as curtains, bed sheets, blankets, towels, and clothing into these warm, pastel palettes that are meant to resemble a light-filled womb. These hand-sewn sculptural textiles reflect on non-gendered motherhood and gardens as sources of knowledge and growth. This exhibition tells a story of joy, freedom, and triumphant love.
“The T.A.U.B.I.S. act as the judicial sector of the universe. Lawmakers and enforcement Uni-wide must seek T.A.U.B.I.S. consent. Motherly, intimidating and tall, the T.A.U.B.I.S. have the gift of foresight.
Tasked with regulating the moral compass of the universe, souls inducted into the T.A.U.B.I.S have lived lives to the fairest and most compassionate of their ability. Ascension to the T.A.U.B.I.S after death is an institution bearing a resemblance to sainthood on Earth. A prospect for any soul belonging to any honourable conscious life-form, regardless of planetary designation, class, species or religion.
Mutable and devoid of gender, they transmute into blossoms. Every blossom embodies a soul who is alive and listening. T.A.U.B.I.S. blossoms grow year-round, uni-wide, even in most harsh weather and on most hostile planets. The T.A.U.B.I.S communicate and collect intel through these blossoms.
Continuation of the T.A.U.B.I.S. is contingent upon the safeguarding of the Ovule. The Ovule is an information bank and power source. The Ovule registers, sorts, and disperses data collected via T.A.U.B.I.S. blossoms to the unified T.A.U.B.I.S. consciousness. It Is at once all seeing and incapacitated. The Ovule is watched over by a group of three T.A.U.B.I.S. ordained as the Gynoecium. The Gynoecium entertain the Ovule with songs and theatricals, massage it, and feed it. Once a cycle the Gynoecium rotates. The Ovule extends its tongue and its caregivers crawl into it’s mouth. They are absorbed into T.A.U.B.I.S. consciousness and a new Gynoecium is selected.”
– Tau Lewis
Left to the Discretion of the T.A.U.B.I.S.
In the beginning there was a florid pulsar’s scorching light birthing a singularity
spreading its webbed fingers.
a trail of knowledge bunching into colonies
bulging in the gaps between planets.
At first there was filament in the silence then there was motion breaking the dark
then music. songs
of things yet to happen to be decoded transcribed.
nursing neon clouds, bubbling oceans, primordial wonder, electrified winds
in the collective mouths of Harmony,
of the T.A.U.B.I.S. –
champions clad in fat
gold velvety trimmings which
while tugging hanging orbs
recorded names and memories in the creases of their outstretched palms.
multi-pronged scales over world-domes tugged by lustrous vines hum like slow
peace in the void, resting matter, sweetly heavy eyes.
Heliacal blooms kiss and shield like nanny-eyed Grace
tints passages of sound and color with inexhaustible Love.
We sleep tenderly in refractions of strobing light as our overseer’s benevolent
haloing Goodness in a dawning gloss
over all we can fathom like gauze.
All knowing arms encase life everlastingly.
Honeyed pedals in the dark humming bliss
bestriding gravity into giant’s crusts .
Birthed on polychrome plages shouting
echoes spanning horizons everywhere
heard like cooing through engines of light
wafts like wings through the cosmos.
Harbingers refracted through ever-knotting bands of becoming.
rooted in the black, fertile soil of time
filing quintessence in illustrious libraries – in their bodies.
– Yves B. Golden
Tau Lewis (b. 1993, Toronto, Ontario, Canada) employs arduous methods such as hand sewing, carving, and assemblage to build intricate sculptural portraits and quilts. A self-taught artist, her practice is rooted in healing personal, collective, and historical traumas through labour. The materiality of Lewis’ work is often informed by her surrounding environment: she constructs out of found, gathered, and recycled materials from Toronto, New York, and outside of her family’s home in Negril, Jamaica. The transformative act of repurposing these materials recalls practices of resourcefulness in diasporic contexts; upcycling is a recuperative act that reclaims both agency and memory. The portraits themselves reference both individuals in Lewis’ community and imagined ancestors.
Lewis will be included in upcoming exhibitions at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, the Grinnell College Museum of Art, Grinnell, and Prospect 5, New Orleans. She has previously exhibited at international museums including Oakville Galleries, Oakville (2020); the Hepworth Wakefield, UK (2019); College Art Galleries, Saskatoon (2019); Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston (2018); the New Museum, New York (2017); the Art Gallery of Mississauga, Mississauga (2017); MoMA PS1, New York (2017); and the Art Gallery of York University, Toronto (2017). She has also exhibited in artist-run spaces including Mercer Union, Toronto (2018); Plug-In Institute of Contemporary Art, Winnipeg (2017); Gallery 44, Toronto (2017), and 8-11, Toronto (2017) and galleries such as Jeffrey Stark, New York (2019), Jeffrey Deitch, Los Angeles (2019); Shoot the Lobster, New York (2018), Night Gallery, Los Angeles (2017), and Cooper Cole, Toronto (2017). Lewis currently lives and works in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.